1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
Sermons
Adaptedness of Christianity to Man's Spiritual NecessitiesBp. Janes.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ is Our RedemptionPhilip Henry.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ is Our SanctificationPhilip Henry.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ Jesus the Believer's WisdomW. Jay.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ Our RighteousnessJohn Bunyan.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ Our SanctificationHugh Price Hughes, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ the Believer's WisdomG. Whitfield, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:30
Christ the Wisdom of BelieversR. Watson.1 Corinthians 1:30
God's Device for the Salvation of SinnersT. Boston, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:30
The Connection of Christ with ChristiansT. T. Waterman, B. A.1 Corinthians 1:30
The Fourfold TreasureC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 1:30
The Life of the Christian from ChristProf. Godet.1 Corinthians 1:30
The Relation of Christ to His PeopleG. F. Galaher, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:30
The Union of the Genuine Disciple with His MasterD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:30
Union with Christ the Only Way to SanctificationT. Boston, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:30
What Christ is to the BelieverE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 1:30
What is Christ to UsE. Fraser.1 Corinthians 1:30
Wisdom in ChristProf. Beet.1 Corinthians 1:30
Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and RedemptionG. Burder.1 Corinthians 1:30
Paul's PreachingJ. Exells, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
Paul's PreachingW. M. Taylor, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
PreachingJ. Baldwin Brown, B. A.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Aim of the MinistryC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Cross Neutralised by Theories About ItPrincipal . Edwards.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Cross of Christ of None EffectS. Martin.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Foolishness of PreachingM. Dods, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Gospel as Preached by PaulA. J. F. Behrends, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Gospel Neither Ritual nor PhilosophyJ. Oswald Dykes, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The Preaching Which the Apostle Condemns as IneffectiveJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The True Minister of ChristJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The True Work of the PreacherH. W. Beecher.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
The World's Greatest Blessing and its Greatest EvilD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:17-31
How St. Paul Regarded the Preaching of the GospelC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Intellectual Power and Moral PowerR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 1:26-30
Salvation All of GodH. Bremne 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
All Sufficiency in ChristD. Fraser 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31
What Christ is to the Heart that Welcomes HimR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31
What is Christ to us? This is a great, an all important question. The answer to it is an answer to all vital questions respecting our present and future. To God, Christ is much; to the angels, much; to many men, nothing - a mere "root out of a dry ground" (Isaiah 53:2). What to us? To the believer Christ is -

I. WISDOM. This is the supply of a great want, for though in the world there is much talk of wisdom, there is but little possession. Every philosopher has come with the promise of wisdom, but how few with the fulfilment! The great questions of life have found no satisfactory answers in even the profoundest human systems. But Christ is made to us the truest wisdom. From him we learn what to choose, reject, pursue, enjoy, in daily life. He teaches how to live. He is the Revealer of God. We have glimmerings of the Divine Being, but we know him not until we know him through Christ. "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matthew 11:27). He makes us wise in a true knowledge of God. Through him we are made wise unto salvation. He discloses to us the future, and at the same time he instructs us in the fitting preparation for it. The closer our union with Christ, the wiser shall we become; the more of Christ we have, the more of wisdom we have. When the union is complete, we shall know even as we are known. This is a wisdom which will not come to nought (1 Corinthians 2:6).

II. RIGHTEOUSNESS. Our natural state is sinful; our righteousnesses as "filthy rags," that is, complete unrighteousness. But when we receive Christ, his righteousness is imputed to us; as our Representative, the second Adam, he was righteous for us in his obedience to the Divine Law, and satisfied the claims of Divine justice in his death. So we cry, "The Lord our Righteousness." He took our sins and gave us his righteousness. This righteousness is

(1) perfect,

(2) accepted by God, and thus

(3) of justifying efficacy.

III. SANCTIFICATION. We need not only righteousness imputed, but righteousness realized; not only justification, but purification, regeneration; not only a vital alteration in our relation to God, but a vital alteration in ourselves. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Through Christ we receive the Divine Spirit, who renews us and conforms us to Christ. He transforms us into the likeness of Christ, and when our sanctification is complete, we shall be "like him." "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

IV. REDEMPTION. Christ redeems us from the curse of sin, but here reference is to the final redemption from corruption, pain, peril, sorrow, death, the fruits of sin, which we shall experience at last if we are Christ's. This redemption includes the redemption of the body. How bright is the believer's prospect! Well may he "glory in the Lord." Note:

1. Christ is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, only to those who are in him. To be in Christ is to believe in him, to love him, to serve him, to follow him.

2. It is through God, of Divine grace alone, that we can be in Christ: "Of him are ye in Christ Jesus." God gave Christ; God calls us to find salvation and all blessing in Christ; and faith itself is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). As no man cometh unto the Father but by the Son (John 14:6), so no man cometh unto the Son but by the Father (John 6:44). All the praise of our salvation must be rendered to God: "According as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." - H.







But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption
In using these words the apostle seems to have in mind the principal phases of Christ's being.

I.WISDOM, by His life and teaching.

II.RIGHTEOUSNESS, by His death and resurrection.

III.SANCTIFICATION, by His elevation to glory.

IV.REDEMPTION, by His future return.

(Prof. Godet.)

This union is —

I. MOST VITAL. "In Christ," not merely in His school, dispensation, character, but in Himself, as branches are in the vine. He is their life.

II. DIVINELY FORMED. "Of Him" — Whom? God. It is the Eternal Spirit that brings the soul into vital connection with Christ. "My Father is the Husbandman."

III. BLESSEDLY PRODUCTIVE.

1. Wisdom.

2. Righteousness.

3. Sanctification.

4. Redemption, come out of this union. What transcendent blessings are these!

IV. EXULTINGLY ADORING (ver. 31). It inspires the highest worship. It causes the soul to triumph to God Himself.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. A MOST INTIMATE CONNECTION EXISTS BETWEEN CHRIST AND CHRISTIANS. "In Christ." The connection is —

1. Real. "Ye are in Christ Jesus." Not imaginary; not theoretical; not prospective.

2. Vital. Not that of a sapless branch with a decayed root; not that of a pulseless arm with a lifeless head.

3. Essential to the continuance of spiritual life. Not merely a life like Christ's, but a life that is a part of Christ's life. The temperament of Christ pervades the whole body.

II. THIS CONNECTION HAS BEEN FORMED BY GOD. "Of Him." Our Lord referred to Divine operation as well as supervision when He said, "My Father is the Husbandman" (Comp. Romans 11:17-24). Union with Christ is —

1. Not natural. Our natural condition is one of separation and alienation.

2. Not affected by human agency; neither our own, nor another's.

3. Effected by Divine agency —

(1)Incomprehensible in the mode of operation.

(2)Inexplicable in the selection of its subjects.

III. THIS CONNECTION HAS BEEN PRODUCTIVE OF MOST ADVANTAGEOUS RESULTS TO CHRISTIANS. These, as well as the connection, are of Divine ordination.

1. Observe the progression of thought.(1) There is the truth by which the mind is arrested, instructed, convinced, strengthened, and elevated.(2) There is the work without us by virtue of which we are accepted and treated as righteous; conjoined with —(3) The work within us by virtue of which we are purified and made actually righteous.(4) There is the final deliverance from all evil; when with the redemption of the body the soul will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God; when salvation will be consummated in the glorification of all.

2. Christ is —(1) Our wisdom. He said "I am the truth." He is "the light of the world." He is that by which we are enlightened. The condition of the non-Christian is described in Ephesians 4:18, and Romans 10:3. Ignorant of our real spiritual state, Christ enlightens us respecting it. Ignorant of our relation to God, Christ reveals our alienation from Him, and invites us to be reconciled. Ignorant of what is to be done, Christ tells us what is essential. Ignorant of the way of salvation, Christ says, "I am the way," &c.(2) Our righteousness. The revelation of truth is not all we want. Christ was not only the Revealer but the Doer, not only the Teacher but the Mediator. The condition of the non-Christian is represented as one of condemnation, guilt, and rebellion. Out of this we are brought by Christ. He is our Representative; in nature and character perfect; possessing immaculate righteousness; therefore competent to appear and act for us. His life and death of obedience are accepted on our behalf, and we are accepted through Him. The rebel is pardoned; alienation is displaced by friendship; as virtually righteous he is received into God's family, a joint heir with Christ.(3) Our sanctification. The condition of the non-Christian is one of corruption and defilement. Christ will have all His followers conformed to His image. The process of sanctification is —(a) Effected by direct and indirect agency. Direct. The influence of Spirit upon spirit. "The Spirit dwelleth in you," &c. Indirect. Christian ordinances and privileges, providential circumstances, social influences; every temptation resisted, trial endured, difficulty overcome, passion quelled, habit corrected; triumph over self, steadfast opposition to evil, loss suffered for the cause of Christ; manful exhibition of godliness, true-hearted adherence to principle.(b) Invisible and indescribable. More mystery respecting the internal work of the Spirit than the external work of Christ. Facts perceived by the senses are more easily described than those perceived by consciousness.(c) Sometimes prolonged. If immediacy may be regarded as a characteristic of justification, progressiveness is characteristic of sanctification. It is the work of our lifetime.(d) Generally apparently incomplete. But we cannot unveil the spiritual world. What constitutes completeness? Enough for us to aim at her lofty attainment. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father," &c.(4) Our redemption. Reference to the final release from the bondage, dangers, and trials of humanity. The condition of the non-Christian is one of bondage to sin (2 Peter 2:19). Christ makes His people free. The liberty of the sons of God includes not only release from the condemnation of law and from the power of sin, but also from the laws and limitations of human nature; from the habits which bind us, and dispositions which enslave us; from the annoyances of earthly life; from associations with evil; from injurious influences, human and satanic.

IV. THIS CONNECTION AND ITS RESULTS ARE DESIGNED TO PROMOTE THE GLORY OF GOD (vers. 29, 31). Not to glorify ourselves, but to live, in time and in eternity, to the glory of His grace, who "hath made us accepted in the Beloved."

(T. T. Waterman, B. A.)

He is set forth as made unto us —

I. "WISDOM." A controversy has been carried on as to the character of real wisdom from the days of Job (Job 28:20). But his definition is the only correct one (ver. 18).

1. What is wisdom unconnected with Christ? It can elevate man's mind by leading it up the pathway of science, it can help to the study of men and manners, it may solve some of the higher problems of morality. But its best efforts are only as the light of the taper compared with the sun. It cannot bestow peace or joy in the moment of trial, or in the day of death.

2. What is wisdom connected with Christ (James 3:17)?

II. "RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jeremiah 23. 6; Romans 8:33).

III. "SANCTIFICATION."

1. It is necessary to distinguish between justification and sanctification. They differ essentially —(1) In their nature; the one being an alteration of his state in the sight of God, the other a change in his character before man and his conscience.(2) In their causes; the former is imputed through Christ's obedience, the latter is communicated by the Holy Spirit's influence.

2. Sanctification is a difficult work, so far as we are concerned in it.(1) Our nature is opposed to it.(2) The world generally is opposed to it.(3) Satan with all his varied instruments are opposed to it.

3. But yet it is possible and easy; for Christ is made such unto us. How is this? It is simply to have Christ enter the lists with sin in us (Philippians 4:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

IV. "REDEMPTION." Our present redemption is only partial. We have a privilege to come into God's presence, &c. Nevertheless the "glorious liberty of the sons of God" yet remains to be enjoyed. Then every fetter shall be knocked off. The mind no longer shall be hindered in its investigations; the heart shall be deceitful no more; the body itself shall no more be weary.

(G. F. Galaher, M. A.)

I. OUR PROPHET TO IMPART WISDOM.

1. Anointing us with His Spirit.

2. Revealing Himself in us.

3. Giving us understanding to know Him as the only way to the Father.

II. OUR HIGH PRIEST TO IMPART RIGHTEOUSNESS.

1. Making atonement for us.

2. Pronouncing our absolution.

3. Constantly interceding for us at the right hand of God.

III. OUR KING TO COMMUNICATE HOLINESS.

1. Pouring out His Spirit.

2. Ruling in our hearts.

3. Giving us dominion over sin.

IV. OUR FINAL DELIVERER FROM ALL EVIL.

(E. Fraser.)

I. THE WHOLE OF MAN'S SALVATION IS FROM CHRIST. God has made or constituted Him the fountain of all salvation, from whom it must be conveyed to all that shall partake of it (Psalm 89:24).

1. Man is ignorant naturally of the way to true happiness; he has lost God, and knows not how to find Him again. For remedy of this Christ is made "wisdom" (Colossians 2:3), and He is constituted the grand Teacher of all that seek for eternal happiness.

2. Man is unrighteous, and cannot stand before a righteous God. Now, the natural man, for remedy of this, goes about to work out a righteousness of his own. But when it appears in the light of the holy law, it is nothing but as a moth-eaten garment, that cannot cover the soul before the Lord (Isaiah 64:7). For remedy of this Christ is made righteousness. He, by His obedience to the law's commands, and suffering the wrath it threatened, hath brought in everlasting righteousness, which is a large garment, able to cover all that betake themselves to it.

3. Man is unholy, unfit for communion with a holy God here or hereafter. The natural man, to help himself in this point, calls together his natural powers, and endeavours to turn the stream of his life into the channel of the law. Some prevail this way to the reformation of their outward conversation; but there is as much difference betwixt true holiness and their attainment as between a living body and an embalmed corpse. Others find all their endeavours to no purpose, and so they come to despair of sanctification, and therefore even lay the reins on the necks of their lusts (Jeremiah 2:25). But for remedy in this, Christ is made sanctification. There is a fulness of the Spirit of holiness lodged in Him, to be communicated to the unholy; and to Him God sends the unholy sinner, that out of His fulness he may receive, and grace for grace.

4. Man by the fall is become liable to many bodily infirmities and miseries, and at length must go to the grave. Nature could find no remedy for this. But man's salvation cannot be complete without a remedy; therefore Christ is made "redemption," who will give in due time deliverance to His people from misery and death (Romans 8:23). And in this sense He calls Himself "the resurrection and the life."

II. ALL WHO ARE SAVED MUST BE SAVED BY VIRTUE OF UNION WITH CHRIST. As the stock is stay, strength, and sap, to the branches, so is Christ wisdom, &c., to those who are united to Him. The sap of the stock is not conveyed to branches that are not in it; neither is Christ wisdom, &c., to any but those who are in Him. He is the Saviour of His body; and we must be partakers of His salvation as members of His body.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

This is a very strong evidence of its Divine character.

1. An individual is taken suddenly ill in the street. Persons gather round him, administering many things for his relief; but all is in vain. A stranger draws near, examines his symptoms, and from his case administers a medicine. Immediately he is relieved, and they all cry out, "He is a doctor!" His ability to make a correct diagnosis and to prescribe the proper medicine demonstrates his professional character.

2. We are all of us sinful, and suffering, and dying. Can any one provide a relief? Men have been experimenting ever since the days of Cain; the wisest and best have utterly failed. It follows, then, that if there be a provision by which we can be saved from sin, such provision must come from God.

3. We claim that in the gospel God has made such a provision, which is very comprehensively stated in our text. God is its author, Christ is its medium or agent, and wisdom, &c., are its benefits. Christ is made unto us —

I. WISDOM.

1. What is the first great need of mankind? Light; knowledge of God, of His law, of Christ, of the way of salvation, of duty and interest.

2. We have evidence of this in the general practice of Christian parents in seeking the spiritual welfare of their children, which is to impart instruction. And when our missionaries go to heathen countries, their first work is the same. And is it not a constant effort of the Church, both at home and abroad, to spread religious knowledge through the Sabbath school, the pulpit, and the religious press?

3. The gospel provides this light. Hence Jesus Christ is made unto us "wisdom," by furnishing to us —(1) The Bible. But for His mediation we should never have received it. These Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation.(2) The institutions of the Church.(3) The lives, activities, and instrumentalities, of Christian believers, who are "the light of the world."(4) The teachings of the Holy Spirit; His Divine illumination, His assistance enabling us to apprehend and understand the written Word.

II. RIGHTEOUSNESS.

1. Light, in its first revealings, does not always bring comfort and hope. When we see our moral condition we discover ourselves to be lost sinners; as absolutely helpless as was a poor man once upon the rock just above the falls of Niagara. Certainly he saw and felt that if he ever regained the shore and the home of his love, it must be through some agency other than his own. And when we discover our sinfulness and helplessness, how anxiously do we inquire where help may be found!

2. Righteousness is a conformity to law. If we observe the laws of the State there is no unrighteousness in us in relation to those laws. And if we could observe the law of God, there would be no unrighteousness in us in respect to His law. It is because we have transgressed that law that we are unrighteous.

3. Being thus under condemnation, Christ rendered a perfect obedience to that law, and having thus honoured it, He submitted to its penalties in our stead. Thus Christ has wrought out a righteousness for us; He has made it possible for us to obtain the remission of our sins.

4. But if this were the extent; of the atonement, it would leave us still unrighteous in character, unconformed to the law in our motives and spirit. It was, therefore, necessary that there should be "the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost"; so that; Jesus Christ might work a real righteousness within us.

5. If the provision were to stop here it would still fail of meeting the whole case, because we are accountable to God, and our conduct subsequent to this great exercise of mercy toward us must be in conformity with the principles and spirit of His law. We consequently need the constant help of our Lord and of the Divine Spirit.

6. And even with these helps we are not able so fully to meet the claims of this law that we do not need constantly to depend upon the atonement.

III. SANCTIFICATION. But the regenerate have still further spiritual needs.

1. The converted man hates sin; and when he finds it in his heart he is afflicted. To him there is nothing so lovely, so precious, as holiness. How he hungers and thirsts after it! He cannot be satisfied until he realises it, any more than a famishing man can be satisfied without; food and drink. His heart, his soul, cries out for the nature and image of God!

2. Can we realise this full salvation? Yes, for "He is able to do exceeding abundantly," &c. "The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin." When we are thus brought to bear the image of the heavenly —

IV. Is there still anything further needed? Yes, we still need Christ as our REDEMPTION. To redeem is to deliver from some obligation, or embarrassment, or danger, or necessity, from which a person is unable to deliver himself.

1. We are subject to affliction, and we need the presence, and power, and comfort, of Christ to enable us to stand.

2. We have many duties to perform. Who of himself is competent to work the works of our Divine Master? None of us; but, through Christ strengthening us, we can do all things, meet all our obligations to our own souls, to our fellow-men, and to God.

3. And how about the dying hour? With the Captain of our salvation with us, we can meet death with joy, accounting it a gain.

(Bp. Janes.)

Let us —

I. EXPLAIN THE WORDS. Christ is made unto us —

1. Wisdom.(1) As in knowing Him we know everything that is essential, and especially God, "whom to know is life eternal." God in nature is God above us; God in providence is God beyond us; God in law is God against us; but God in Christ is God with us and for us.(2) As He is the Author of our wisdom. He opens the eyes of our understandings, and, by His Spirit, "leads us into all the truth." And the knowledge, which He imparts, is always distinguished by its influences and effects. Wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence, but the excellency of this wisdom "is that it giveth life to them that have it."

2. Righteousness. "Christ is the end of the law of righteousness, to every one that believeth."

3. Sanctification.(1) The former is a relative thing, this is a personal. The former is the change of our state, this the change of our nature; the former is a work complete at once, but the latter is gradual, and carried on through the whole of life. But then, though these are distinguishable, they are never separate.(2) But what is this "sanctification." It must be something more than mere reformation or morality. A man cannot be sanctified indeed, unless he be moral; but he may be moral, without being sanctified. Sanctification is a transformation by "the renewing" of the mind; the implantation of new principles; a separation from the Spirit and course of the world, and a deliverance from the dominion and the love of sin, and a dedication of ourselves to the service and glory of God.

4. Redemption. The resurrection is called so —(1) Because it is the effect of the Saviour's purchase; for He ransomed the bodies of His people, as well as their souls.(2) Because of the grandeur that awaits us.

II. APPLY THE WORDS. If we be "made of God unto us wisdom."

1. We see the state we are all in by nature. We see that we are destitute of all these things, and that, if ever we have them, we must obtain them from another.

2. We see the value and importance of the Lord Jesus.

3. We need not wonder that He should be the subject of the whole of revelation.

4. He ought to be the theme of every minister.

5. We see the wretched and dreadful state of unbelievers. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life," hath not "wisdom," &c.

6. What can be so worthy of our pursuit as to seek after union and communion with Him. This was the apostle's conviction — "That I may win Christ, and be found in Him."

7. We learn the happiness of all those who belong to Him — or rather to whom He belongs.

(W. Jay.)

This is one of the most comprehensive texts in the Bible. It is a short but full inventory of the invaluable blessings of the gospel; enough to make a poor sinner rich, and a miserable sinner happy.

I. WISDOM

1. Wisdom chooses the best objects, and then pursues the best means of obtaining them.

2. All wisdom is from God; but there is a peculiar and superior kind of wisdom, viz., religion (Proverbs 28:28); and this St. Paul terms being "wise unto salvation," and James, "the wisdom that is from above."

3. Christ is the original fountain of wisdom. He is "wisdom" itself (Proverbs 8.; Colossians 2:3); so that whatever true wisdom is found in the world is derived from Him, even as the natural sun is the source of all the light of this world. Accordingly, we find Him, by His personal ministry, diffusing wonderful light, and when He ascended into heaven He committed this work to the Holy Spirit. "The natural man knoweth not the things of the Spirit of God"; but, by His gracious help, "they are spiritually discerned," and believers learn "the mind of Christ."

4. Other kinds of wisdom have their value; yet what do they avail? "I have spent my life," said a great scholar on his dying bed, "I have spent my life in laborious trifling! "Compared with heavenly wisdom, all literary attainments will be as a grain of sand to a mountain, or a drop of water to the ocean.

II. RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., perfect conformity to the will of God. The word signifies that which is full weight or measure, the standard being God's holy law. And is there any man thus righteous? No; "there is not a just man upon earth"; that is, one "that doeth good, and sinneth not." Yet, without a perfect righteousness, no man can be justified. But must we, then, despair? Yes; of making ourselves righteous; but not of becoming righteous by other means, for "Christ is made unto us righteousness" (Romans 4:24). But do any suppose that we may therefore become careless about good works? Let them attend to the declaration that Christ is made unto us —

III. SANCTIFICATION.

1. By this we mean the renewing of our nature in the image of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the mediation of Christ.

2. Sanctification differs from justification. Justification respects the state of man; sanctification respects His nature, disposition, conduct. A man may be tried for his life, and he may be acquitted; but if he have, at the same time, a mortal disease upon him, he will die. The province of a judge and a physician are very different. Justification is the act of God as a Judge; sanctification is the work of God the Spirit as the great Physician of souls; and we find both these works united in Psalm 103:3. It is also to be observed that our title to heaven is founded only on the righteousness of Christ, by which we are justified; but in sanctification consists our meetness for heaven.

3. Christ is made unto us sanctification.

(1)Because He first relieves us by His atoning sacrifice from the guilt and defilement of sin.

(2)By His intercession (John 17:15, 17).

(3)By His Word — its doctrines, precepts, examples, promises, and threatenings.

(4)By union to Him.

(5)By His example.

(6)By His love, which is, of all motives to holiness, the strongest and most effectual.

IV. REDEMPTION. If Christ be made unto us wisdom, we are delivered from the powers of darkness; if righteousness, we are redeemed from the curse of the law; if sanctification, we are delivered from the dominion of sin. In these things consists the redemption of the soul. But the "redemption of the body" seems to be intended; and this agrees with Romans 8:21.

(G. Burder.)

I. I would point out to you THE FOUNTAIN FROM WHICH ALL THOSE BLESSINGS FLOW, THAT THE ELECT OF GOD PARTAKE OF IN JESUS, "who of God is made unto us," the Father, He it is who is spoken of here. Not as though Jesus Christ was not God also; but God the Father is the fountain of the Deity.

II. I come to show WHAT THESE BLESSINGS ARE WHICH ARE HERE, THROUGH CHRIST, MADE OVER TO THE ELECT.

1. Christ is made to them "wisdom"; but wherein does true wisdom consist? Were I to ask some of you, perhaps you would say in indulging the lust of the flesh; but this is only the wisdom of brutes. Others would tell me true wisdom consisted in adding house to house; but this cannot be true wisdom, for riches often take to themselves wings, and fly away. But perhaps you despise riches and pleasure, and therefore place wisdom in the knowledge of books; but it is possible for you to tell the numbers of the stars, and call them all by their names, and yet be mere fools; learned men are not always wise. "Know thyself," was a saying of one of the wise men of Greece; this is certainly true wisdom, and this is that wisdom spoken of in the text, and which Jesus Christ is made to all elect sinners. They see the necessity of closing with a Saviour, and behold the wisdom of God in appointing Him to be a Saviour; they are also made willing to accept of salvation upon our Lord's own terms: thus Christ is made to them wisdom.

2. "Righteousness." Christ's whole personal righteousness is made over to, and accounted theirs.

3. Christ is not only made to them righteousness, but sanctification; by sanctification I do not mean a bare hypocritical attendance on outward ordinances, nor do I mean a bare outward reformation, and a few transient convictions, or a little legal sorrow; for all this an unsanctified man may have; but by sanctification I mean a total renovation of the whole man. Their understandings, which were before dark, now become light in the Lord; and their wills, before contrary to, now become one with the will of God; their affections are now set on things above; their memory is now filled with Divine things; their natural consciences are now enlightened; their members, which were before instruments of uncleanness, and of iniquity unto iniquity, are now instruments of righteousness and true holiness. But, before we enter upon the explanation and contemplation of this privilege —(1) Learn hence the great mistake of those writers and clergy who, notwithstanding they talk of sanctification and inward holiness, yet they generally make it the cause, whereas they should consider it as the effect, of our justification. For Christ's righteousness, or that which Christ has done in our stead without us, is the sole cause of our acceptance in the sight of God, and of all holiness wrought in us: to this, and not to the light within, or anything wrought within, should poor sinners seek for justification in the sight of God.(2) From hence also the Antinomians and formal hypocrites may be confuted, who talk of Christ without, but know nothing, experimentally, of a work of sanctification wrought within them.

4. Let us now go on, and take a view of the other link, or rather the end, of the believer's golden chain of privileges, "Redemption." But we must look very high; for the top of it, like Jacob's ladder, reaches heaven, where all believers will ascend, and be placed at the right hand of God. By the word redemption we are to understand, not only a complete deliverance from all evil, but also a full enjoyment of all good both in body and soul.

(G. Whitfield, M. A.)

I. OUR SPIRITUAL EXISTENCE.

1. Its origin, "Of Him," i.e., as some think, "through Him." Are you this day united to Christ — a stone in that building of which He is both foundation and topstone — a limb of that mystical body of which He is the head? Then you did not get there of yourself. "By the grace of God I am what I am." He "hath begotten us again unto a lively hope."

2. Its dignity. Being in Christ you are of God. God's husbandry, people, children, beloved. Some have thought it a great thing to be of a prince's household; but you are of the Divine family.

3. Its essence. We have no life except as we are "in Christ Jesus." Out of Christ we abide in death.

II. OUR SPIRITUAL WEALTH. Here are four things, and in the original the second and third have a peculiar connecting link. The wisdom stands alone, and the redemption, but the righteousness and sanctification have a special link, as though we should be taught that they always go together. Christ is made unto us —

1. Wisdom. The apostle had been speaking of some other wisdom which set itself up in opposition to the Cross. Now, instead of pointing to his own brain, or to the statue of Socrates or Solon, he says Christ is made of God unto us wisdom. There are those who will have it that the gospel such as was preached by Banyan, Whitefield, and Wesley, was very well for the dark times in which they lived; but that there is wanted in this intensely luminous century a more progressive theology. We are afraid that instead of bringing greater light, the advanced thinkers have made darkness worse. Christ makes us wise —(1) By His teaching. All you want to know of God, of sin, of life, of death, of eternity, &c., Christ has either personally, or by His Spirit in the Word of God, taught you. Anything that you find out for yourself over and above revelation, is folly.(2) By His example. You shall never be a fool if you follow Christ, except in the estimation of fools.(3) By His presence. Let none of us ever be so foolish as to suppose that when we have received Jesus we have occasion to blush when we are in the company of the very wisest. Carry a bold face when you confront the brazen-faced philosophy which insults your Lord.

2. Righteousness. The doctrine of imputed righteousness is firmly established in the Word of God; yet it is possible to put too much stress upon "imputed," and scarcely enough upon "righteousness." Not only is Christ's righteousness imputed to me, but it is mine actually, for Christ is mine.

3. Sanctification.(1) Because we are in Christ we have the basis of sanctification, which consists in being set apart.(2) The power by which we are sanctified comes to us by virtue of our union with Christ. The Holy Spirit who sanctifies us through the truth works in us by virtue of our union with Jesus.(3) Let Jesus always be the motive for your sanctification. Is it not a strange thing that some professors should look to Christ alone for pardon and justification, and run away to Moses when they desire sanctification? "The love of Christ constraineth us"; not fear of hell.

4. Redemption. Somebody says: "That ought to have come first; because redemption is the first blessing that we enjoy." Ay, but it is the last as well. You are not yet redeemed altogether. By price you are — but you are not yet redeemed by power. In a measure you are set free by Divine power, but there are links of the old chains yet to be snapped from off, and there is a bondage still about you from which you are ere long to be delivered. You are "waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of the body." Conclusion: If all this be the case, then let all our glory be unto Him. What insanity it is to boast in any but in our Lord Jesus! How foolish are they who are proud of their wisdom, of their wealth, &c.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. BECAUSE OF THOSE NEW AND ILLUSTRIOUS REVELATIONS WHICH HE HAS GIVEN TO US OF GOD. Christ is the great Teacher of God.

1. By declaration. In the course of His ministrations He did not reason concerning God. "No man hath seen God at any time." Man, therefore, must darkly reason, and doubtfully infer. "The only-begotten Son, who lay in the bosom of the Father," neither acquired nor made known this knowledge in that way. "He hath declared Him." An instance of this declaratory mode of teaching we have in His conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4:21-24). What instruction is here! What a contrast to the teachings of men!

2. By action. In His life, He was the visible image of God's purity; in His works, of God's power; in His condescending compassion, of God's yearning goodness; in the freeness of His gifts, of God's abundant grace and liberality; in His intercourse with His disciples, of God's regard for pious humble souls; in His denunciations of judgment, of God's justice; and in His death, the brightest and most awful demonstration was given of His holiness, justice, and love united.

II. BY THE VIEWS WHICH HE HAS GIVEN US OF THE MORAL CONDITION OF MAN. The sinfulness, helplessness, and danger of mankind have all been acknowledged and felt; but in what new and awful views are they placed by Christ! Sin is not a trifle. See the proof of this in the sufferings of thy Saviour. It is not in man to make atonement for sin. Behold, the Victim which God appointed was both God and man. The punishment of sin is not light. If the Substitute so suffered, what must the principal suffer, should he reject his Saviour? By those sufferings justice was satisfied, and God reconciled to man; and this light is thrown upon our condition, that, sinful, helpless, and endangered as it is, we are all invited to obtain mercy.

III. IN THE DISCOVERIES HE HAS MADE OF THE NATURE, EXTENT, AND POSSIBILITY OF HOLINESS. The foulest blot in creation is an unholy spirit. The brightest, the loveliest idea that can enter the human mind is that of moral order, and the purity of the heart. The nature of real holiness is explained to us by Christ. It is not a ceremonial holiness — the mistake of superstition. It is not merely a regulation of the heart and conduct — the mistake of philosophers. It is not a sentimental approval of what is fair and good — the mistake of men of imagination. It is the conversion of the heart to God; the renewal of the primitive image of God in man. The possibility of this is explained by Christ. Without hope there could be no effort. The agency exhibited by Christ in the accomplishment of our sanctification is equal to the effect. His Spirit is the sanctifier; and the whole process of our consecration to God is the mighty working of the Holy Ghost, with the means which He has appointed in order to that end.

(R. Watson.)

Having Christ, believers have a key which unlocks the mysteries of God's eternal purpose of mercy and of the present life; and knowing this eternal purpose and the eternal realities, they are able to choose their steps in life.

(Prof. Beet.)

Consider Romans 7:4; John 15:5; Galatians 2:20.

I. THE HOLINESS DERIVED FROM CHRIST. It is that disposition of heart and course of life which is conformable to God's holy law, and pleases Him.

1. True holiness is universal in respect of the commands of God (Psalm 119:6). A profane life is a sure evidence of a profane heart (Galatians 5:19, &c.).

2. True holiness is not only in external duties, but necessarily includes internal obedience of the soul to the will of God (Psalm 24:3).

3. In true holiness there is a bent, inclination, and propensity of heart to obedience. By Adam's fall the hearts of men got a wrong set (Romans 8:7; Hosea 11:7). Now, in sanctification it is bent the other way, towards God and godliness (2 Thessalonians 3:5), that as the needle in the compass, touched with a good loadstone, turns towards the north, so the heart, touched by sanctifying grace, inclines Godward and Christward.

4. As the love of God is the great comprehensive duty of holiness, love is the fulfilling of the law; so love runs through all the duties of religion, to give them the tincture of holiness (Hebrews 6:10).

5. True holiness is influenced by the command of God. The will of God is not only the rule, but the reason of a holy life (John 5:30).

6. True holiness has for its chief end the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). He that is the first cause of all goodness must needs be the last end of it.

7. Lastly, true holiness is universal as regards man.(1) Mortification is universal (Galatians 5:24). It is no true mortification where one lust is spared.(2) Vivification is universal (2 Corinthians 5:17). As when the body of Christ was raised there was life put into every member; so when the soul is raised to live the life of holiness, the image of God is repaired in all its parts, and the soul embraces the whole yoke of Christ, so far as it knows the same. So that sanctification sets a man on every known duty.

II. THIS HOLINESS IS DERIVED FROM CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE GRAND DEVICE OF INFINITE WISDOM FOR THE SANCTIFYING OF AN UNHOLY WORLD.

1. God made the first Adam holy, and all mankind was so in Him (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

2. Adam, sinning, lost the image of God, so that all mankind are naturally dead in sin.

3. Man's sanctification by himself thus being hopeless, it pleased God to constitute a Mediator, to be the head of sanctifying influences to all that should partake of them.

4. Though by the death and resurrection of Christ the sanctification of His people is infallibly insured, as the corruption of all mankind was by the fall of Adam; yet we cannot actually partake of Christ's holiness till we have a spiritual being in Him, even as we partake not of Adam's corruption till we have a natural being from him.

5. As Christ is the prime receptacle of the Spirit of holiness, as the head of all the saints; so the continual supplies of that Spirit are to be derived from Him for the saints' progress in holiness, till they come to perfection. And faith is the great mean of communication betwixt Christ and us (Acts 15:9).

III. USES.

1. Of information. This lets us see —(1) The absolute necessity of holiness.(2) In vain do men attempt sanctification without coming to Christ for it.(3) Unholiness ought not to stop a sinner from coming to Christ, more than a disease ought to hinder a man to take the physician's help, or cold from taking the benefit of the fire.(4) True faith is the soul's coming to Christ for sanctification as well as justification. For faith must receive Christ as God offers Him, and He offers Him with all His salvation. Now He is made sanctification. Wherefore the soul, being willing to take Christ with all His salvation, to be sanctified, comes to Him for it.

2. Of exhortation. Come then to Christ for sanctification, and note the following motives.(1) If ye be not holy ye will never see heaven (Hebrews 12:14).(2) Ye will never attain holiness if ye come not to Christ for it.(a) While ye are out of Christ ye are under the curse; and is it possible for the cursed tree to bring forth the fruit of holiness?(b) Can ye be holy without sanctifying influences, or can ye expect that these shall be conveyed to you otherwise than through a Mediator, by His Spirit?(c) Ye have nothing wherewith to produce holiness. The most skilful musician cannot play unless his instrument be in tune. The lame man, if he were ever so willing, cannot run till he be cured. Ye are under an utter impotency, by reason of the corruption of your nature.(d) If ye will come to Christ ye shall be made holy. There is a fulness of merit and spirit in Him for sanctification. Come then to the fountain of holiness. The worst of sinners may be sanctified this way (1 Corinthians 6:11).

(T. Boston, D. D.)

One day, as I was passing into the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest all was not right, suddenly this sentence fell upon my soul, "Thy righteousness is in heaven"; and methought withal I saw with the eyes of my soul Jesus Christ at God's right hand. There, I say, was my righteousness, so that wherever I was, or whatever I was doing, God could not say of me, "He wants a righteousness," for that was just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame that made my righteousness better, nor my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, "The same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed. I was loosed from my afflictions and my irons; my temptations also fled away, so that from that time those dreadful Scriptures of God left off to trouble me.

(John Bunyan.)

I. WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?

1. It is to be changed (2 Corinthians 3:18). Sanctification makes a great change; the judgment is changed, the disposition, the way, the company.

2. It is to be cured. Sin is the sickness of the soul. The only physician is our Lord Jesus Christ, raised up of God for that purpose; no hand but His can heal us.

3. It is to be cleansed. Sin is the pollution of the soul; and it is pollution in grain, such as nothing can wash us from but the fountain opened, and that fountain is Christ (Zechariah 13:1).

4. It is to be clothed. A sinful condition is a naked condition (Revelation 3:17). And what must. poor naked souls do, but come to Christ, to His shop, and here buy of Him white raiment (Revelation 3:18; Zechariah 3:3, 4). "I clothed thee also with broidered work," &c. (Ezekiel 16:10-14). Grace is rich raiment, princely, priestly, comely clothing, that waxeth not old.

5. It is to be consecrated. Sanctifying is the same with consecrating, that is, setting apart from common and profane to holy and spiritual uses, as persons, places, vessels, times, were under the Old Testament.

II. HOW IS JESUS CHRIST MADE ALL THIS TO US?

1. Principally by the working of His Spirit. and grace. The Spirit of Christ is the Sanctifier. When He comes into the heart. to dwell there, He renews, and He regenerates, and He raises, and He reconciles. It is through Jesus Christ. If He had not satisfied and died, to make God friends with us, He would never have sent the Spirit, to make us friends with Him.

2. Instrumentally by the Word, "Sanctify them through Thy truth" (John 17:17). Error never sanctifies. Truth only doth that (James 1:17; Titus 1:1). The Word of truth begins, and the same carries on this good work.

III. THE PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT.

1. Shall I propound one needful question to you? Are ye sanctified? is Jesus Christ made of God sanctification to you? It is a thing that may be known. There are three marks:(1) Where Christ is made to us sanctification, it is become natural to us to walk in all holy obedience to the will of God. I say natural, not to the old, but to the new, nature. Then, says one, I fear I am not sanctified. I reply, The trial is not to be made by any one single action at any one time, but by our course and way. How is it ordinarily with us? There is no man but doth something that beasts do; but is he therefore a beast? There is no beast but doth something that a man doth; but is he therefore a man?(2) Where Christ is made to us sanctification, holiness is highly prized and dearly loved, and more and more of it earnestly desired. I believe it is never otherwise among the truly sanctified.(3) Where Christ is made to us sanctification, He is owned and acknowledged as our all in all. The crown is set upon His head. To us to live is Christ.

2. I shall suppose you now propounding to me another needful question. What may I do that Christ may be made to me sanctification?(1) We must be inwardly and thoroughly convinced that there is an absolute necessity He should be so. If we mean to please God in this world. None but the sanctified are accepted of Him, He hath no pleasure but where His image is. Our sacrifices are an abomination, our prayers an abomination, otherwise. Till the tree is good the fruit cannot be good. And also, if we mean to enjoy God in the other world. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).(2) We must apply ourselves to the Lord Jesus by faith and prayer.(3) We must attend upon the ordinances. These are the conduit pipes through which the grace of sanctification is conveyed to poor souls.

3. What must they do to whom Christ is already made sanctification?(1) They have cause to bless God for it every day, all their days (Psalm 103:1-3).(2) They must press after further degrees of sanctification, more and more. Dying to sin. Living to righteousness.

(Philip Henry.)

That Jesus Christ is made of God unto all men that are in Him redemption.

I. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN — "made redemption"? He is made of God redemption to us; that is, God hath ordained and appointed Him from all eternity, and in the fulness of time raised Him up, and sent Him, to be the author and procurer of redemption for us; or, which is all one, to be a redeemer to us (Luke 1:68). Now to redeem is, in general, to recover those that are in bondage out of bondage, as the Jews were released by Cyrus out of their captivity in Babylon. Redemption, viz. —

1. By power; when those who kept us in bondage are conquered and overcome.

2. By exchange; when one prisoner is let go for another.

3. By price; when a sum of money is paid to buy off a prisoner, more or less, according as the quality of the prisoner is. Now this last is properly redemption, and this last is the way in which Jesus Christ hath made us free. To this purpose we are told of a covenant of redemption which was transacted from all eternity between the Father and the Son, the terms whereof were — That if the Son would come and be man and die, that dying of His should be accepted as the price or ransom of all the elect, how many soever there were. The Son accepted of this motion, did what was to be done, suffered what was to be suffered, and so became our redemption. See some footsteps of this covenant transaction in two Scriptures (Psalm 40:6-8: Isaiah 49:2, 6, 9). But —

II. WHAT FIND OF REDEMPTION IS THIS?

1. Needed redemption. It is the redemption that we needed. He came to supply all our needs. Now among other needs, being in bondage, we needed one to redeem us; not only one to clothe us, being naked; to feed us, being hungry; to wash us, being filthy; to heal us, being wounded; to cure us, being sick; — but to redeem us. If He had done all this for us in our bondage, and left us still in bondage, we had been miserable notwithstanding.

2. It is a nonsuch redemption, when compared with other redemption. Whether personal, as Joseph out of prison, or Peter (Acts 12.), or Daniel out of the lions' den. Whether public, as from Egypt, from Babylon. It surpasses them all in number, way, and consequences.

3. Distinguishing redemption. It is denied to the angels that sinned. The commons are ransomed, the nobles left behind. He paid no price to redeem them.

4. It is divers, manifold redemption according to the manifold evils that we lay under. They are of three sorts — temporal, spiritual, eternal.(1) He is redemption to us from temporal evils. Such as concern the body, and the life that now is; such as sickness, death, poverty. Not that they shall not befall us, but that they shall not hurt us. The sting of them is taken out (Psalm 91:10).(2) Which is better, it is redemption to us from spiritual evils. These are worse evils than the former, because they affect the better part of us. The guilt of sin; whereby we are bound over to punishment, the fear whereof causes bondage (Hebrews 2:14). To redeem us from this, He is made righteousness to us for our justification. The filth and power of sin; whereby sin hath dominion over us, and we are perfect slaves to it, the vilest of slaves (John 8:34). To redeem us from this He is made sanctification to us.(3) There is another sort of evils yet, and those are eternal evils; and by redemption here we are especially to understand our deliverance from those. Because it is mentioned after righteousness and sanctification as a thing different from them; and because of what we find in other Scriptures, where redemption is applied to something in the other world: "Waiting for the redemption of the body" (Romans 8:23), that is, the resurrection and glorification of our bodies: compare Luke 21:28 with Ephesians 4:30, the day of redemption.

1. What those eternal evils are which redemption frees us from.(1) It frees us for ever, not only from the guilt, and filth, and power of sin, but from the very being of it also.(2) It frees us from Satan ever having any more to do with us, either as a tempter or as a tormentor. He is busy now with the saved (1 Peter 5:8), and he will be more busy hereafter with those that perish (Matthew 18:34). But where the redeemed are he comes not (Romans 16:20).(3) It frees us from all sorrow and suffering, of what kind soever, in mind or body (Revelation 21:4).(4) It frees us from all society with wicked and ungodly men, and that for ever. They are blended here, and it pleases neither (Psalm 120:5, 6). But there is a redemption coming (Matthew 25:33).

2. What there is that is positive in this redemption.(1) As soon as the redeemed die their souls immediately go to God, to the vision and fruition of Him in glory (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23).(2) At the resurrection, at the last day, the same soul and the same body shall come together again. Though we are not redeemed from death, we are to be from the grave (Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 13:14).(3) To all eternity there shall be a fulness of uninterrupted joy and felicity; a remaining rest; a Sabbath without a week of working days after it, perpetual, eternal.

3. I shall show how Jesus Christ is made this to us, this future redemption. He is the purchaser of it; it was bought with His blood, bought back. We had mortgaged it for an apple, and must never have retrieved it, had not He died (Ephesians 1:14). He is our forerunner in it (Hebrews 6:20). He went thither as our attorney or proxy, to take possession of the purchase in our name and stead (John 14:1, 2). It is He that Himself actually puts us into possession of it. At the resurrection it is His voice and trumpet that raises the dead; He is the resurrection. It is He Himself alone that is the sole object of all our future happiness; to be with Him, to see and enjoy Him, is our future redemption (Revelation 21:23).

III. THE IMPROVEMENT.

1. Then it concerns us all, by all means, to give all diligence to make sure to ourselves our interest in this redemption.

2. If Jesus Christ be made of God this redemption to you, then, in God's name, take the comfort of it. Lift up the head and hands that hang down; "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say, rejoice."

3. Then live as the redeemed of the Lord.

(Philip Henry.)

"I remember a short time ago, when I was conducting a service at Oxford, a working man came into the meeting. He was the first penitent that night, and he has frequently told me since that he had been most honestly and sincerely trying for twenty years to be a true Christian, but he had failed every day and almost given up in despair when he came by accident and heard this truth — that his failure was due to the fact that he had been trying to be a Christian in his own strength. He then went into the inquiry-room, trusted in Christ, and was united with Christ, shared the life of Christ, and from that day to this he has done what he could not do for twenty years before, although he was really trying, because he was strong in the life which he shared with Christ. Are not some of us in danger of supposing that we can make ourselves better Christians, more Christlike Christians, by our own resolution, and efforts, and rules, and discipline?"

(Hugh Price Hughes, M. A.)

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